Little Miss Adorable finally got her dream of riding a horse through a local therapeutic riding program.
Little Miss Adorable is a tiny three year old with Prader-Willi Syndrome and very loose muscles and ligaments. She is little, cute and cannot walk yet. We’re working on standing with support.
And as her speech is not clear, Little Miss Adorable says a lot and no one really understands what she says.
She was very excited in the days leading up to the riding session, anytime we talked about how she was going to ride a horse, she’d smile as though she won the jackpot. She would point at her chest, “Me ride ‘orse!”
In the car on the way to her lesson, Little Miss Adorable announced, “’orse, nana!” “Ev ‘orse nana!” for about 20 minutes.
We eventually figured out she meant, “Give the horse a banana.” Then we explained that horses usually eat apples or carrots.
“’orse, apple! ‘orse apple! Eve ‘orse apple!” for the rest of the drive.
Once we arrived at the stable I carried her into the barn, with five year old Mr. Sensitive anxiously clinging to me.
Little Miss Adorable was in heaven, “LOOK! ‘ORSE!” Pointing at every face hanging over a stall door. “Who’s that?” she demanded to know all their names. We read nameplates. Repeatedly.
She insisted on petting the horses. We started with a small fat donkey, who was the closest to her size. Then Little Miss Adorable stood, propped against my knees, petting the donkey.
It was the closest to independent standing we’ve ever seen her. Already the lesson was a success.
During the riding lesson the instructor took every imaginable safety precaution. Little Miss Adorable wore a helmet, and safety belt, AND had team of six people supporting her and walking her around the ring. She was safer on the horse than her own car seat.
Once seated on ‘her’ horse the instructor told Little Miss Adorable that her horse’s name was Timmy.
“Meemee?” Little Miss Adorable struggled with the name, “Weenie? Minnie?”
Soon she forcibly articulated “TIM-my.” After all, it was ‘her’ horse.
Thank you Lori, Sara and everyone else.
What are your experiences in a therapeutic riding program?
We noticed an unbelievable difference in Little Miss A’s muscles after riding – she was very excited and her muscle tone changed completely – for the better! This change lasted a few hours, but more importantly her motivation to stand and walk has improved. ~Angela
For related posts please check out:
Little Miss Adorable Goes Riding for all the photos